Multidisciplinary team reduced hypothermia in NICU babies during and after surgery

July 17, 2023
Quality improvement project reduced risk for complications of hypothermia, such as infection, excessive bleeding, increased oxygen consumption, the need for cardiorespiratory support, and mortality.

The percentage of infants from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) experiencing hypothermia upon operating room (OR) arrival and at any point during the operation decreased from 48.7% to 6.4% and 67.5% to 37.4%, respectively, after implementation of a multidisciplinary quality improvement project at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. The project and its success were featured in the journal Pediatric Quality and Safety.

Upon return to the NICU, the percentage of infants experiencing postoperative hypothermia decreased from 5.8% to 2.1% while postoperative hyperthermia increased from 0.8% to 2.6%.

For this improvement project, the hospital’s Center for Quality and Safety coordinated care and resources between multiple departments. It achieved consensus and buy-in from providers despite competing factors such as perspiring surgeons and busy anesthesia providers transporting all infants to the OR. It identified key participants who were vested in revising processes and facilitated adoption with their colleagues, following up on missed opportunities and gaps in the processes identified through observation and surveys. The center provided data analysts who worked iteratively with providers to generate valid, actionable, and real-time data.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago release on Newswise